Energy price rises have for long been a hot topic, and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. In the last month, we have heard talks about gas shortages in South Australia, and just this week talks of power increases across Victoria to compensate for new bush fire prevention systems.
It’s with these threats to grid power, and the decreasing cost to implement roof top solar and battery storage, that is making for an even more attractive argument, to consider these technologies when building a new home.
So, what should you consider with your new home, to maximise the benefit of home power generation and storage.
1. Design and build for efficiency
Only the basics here, but below is our main considerations to an efficient home
Orientation – we’ve heard it before. Face you home north to maximise Passive Solar benefits. But it can’t go without saying. This is the the first and most important step to an efficient home.
A little extra insulation – adding additional insulation is extremely cost effective with a big return in comfort and efficiency
Double Glazing – seriously guys, specify double glazing. I can’t stress enough the importance of double glazing and the impact it will have on the comfort and the quality of your home. Its pretty simple here, DOUBLE GLAZE ALL YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS!
Wrap it tight – often over looked and by far the number one improvement that is overdue in our building code, that will significantly improve our homes performance. Pay particular attention to how your windows and doors are installed, the type of building fabric used and how it is installed. Further improvements can be made but really this is a topic in its self.
2. Make the right selections
Heating and Cooling – Here we would recommend split systems or a ducted air-conditioner. Using an efficient brand such as Daikin is obviously ideal. Their US7 model is the Australia’s first 7-STAR split system. Also consider ceiling fans where possible as a very efficient way to move air and improve comfort.
Hot water – Ideally, we would specify a heat pump. Heat pump hot water has come a long way in the last 5 – 10 years to work more efficiently in colder climate
Cooking – This is a tough one for some. Gas is an old favorite for a lot of home cooks. However, the move to an induction cook-top will take your home into the solar revolution. The benefit of an induction cook-top is
- Fast heating and cooling down
- No risk of fire
- Low risk if any of burning you skin as it only heats the pot
- Easy to clean…..now there’s a winner!
- Accurate temperature selection for simmering
- oh, and of course, is suitable for solar and battery storage.
3. Get your solar sorted
A few considerations for selecting solar panels
- Roof design – a simple roof on a well orientated home is obviously ideal. Complex design will result in a less than ideal installation
- Over size the inverter. If you are starting with a small system and look to increase in a few years. its a great idea to pay a touch extra so that more panels can be added with out having to buy another inverter.
- Is your inverter suitable for battery storage?
- Asses your current power bills and make considerations to future changes. E.g are you planing on starting a family?
- Placing a electrical sub board and inverter in your garage will allow for easy installation of battery’s in the future.
and in my opinion……
Watch out for falling battery storage prices. When it adds up financially, (which may only be a few years away) your home is ready to switch over and be on its way to zero energy bills, lower impact on the environment, and of course, continued year round comfort.